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Heiri Känzig was born in New York in 1957 to an Argentinian mother. He began his career as a jazz musician when he entered the conservatory in Graz in Austria at the age of 18. Shortly after beginning his studies he founded the now famous Vienna Art Orchestra together with Matthias Rüegg. He worked with the VAO for 15 years, touring the whole world with them. In 1989 he became the first foreign musician to be made a member of the Orchestre Nationale de Jazz (ONJ) in France. In 2002 the Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD) appointed Känzig the artistic director of the transcultural project “Thien Shan Schweiz Express”, which ran in conjunction with the International Year of Mountains. In 2005 Canton Zurich awarded him its grand prix in composition. Heiri Känzig is a constant presence on the international contemporary jazz scene. His recordings can be found on the Blue Note, ACT, Universal and Virgin labels. His playing is not just characterized by an astonishing melodic virtuosity, but also by its earthy, warm tone. Besides playing in numerous concerts, Känzig is professor of double bass at the Lucerne School of Music.